Legislators from Barbados, the Eastern Caribbbean and the U.S. participated in workshops hosted by the U.S. House Democracy Partnership in Barbados on April 23.
Legislators from Barbados, the Eastern Caribbbean and the U.S. participated in workshops hosted by the U.S. House Democracy Partnership in Barbados on April 23.

Twenty legislators from Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the U.S. gathered at the Hilton Barbados for a governance workshop hosted by the U.S. House Democracy Partnership on Saturday.

They were joined by U.S. Ambassador Linda Taglialatela, Barbadian Ambassador Noel Lynch and Antiguan Barbudan Ambassador Ronald Sanders. Representatives from the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute also participated.

U.S. House Representative Barbara Lee opened the workshop, saying, “The House Democracy Partnership is a bipartisan organization founded more than 15 years ago, and we work to support effective, independent, and responsive legislative institutions.”  

She further explained, “It’s a two-way street. The United States is a work in progress. There’s much unfinished business in our own country and we want to move toward ‘a more perfect union.’ Learning best practices from you is extremely important.”

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Illinois) said, “You are our neighbors and we need to work together. Democracy is something that needs to be worked on each and every day.”  

This is Kelly’s second visit to Barbados and tenth year in Congress. She serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which oversees issues of communications, health and environmental protection, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The workshop focused on three themes: strengthening legislative oversight and capacity; budget, appropriations, and access to financing; and legislative solutions to addressing electoral and campaign finance reform. The in-person meeting followed previous virtual engagements over the last two years.  

As Taglialatela explained, “It’s an honor to have Representatives Lee and Kelly with us. As ambassador to seven countries, I hope this is not only an opportunity to share your perspectives with the United States but an opportunity to engage with one another as well.”

Established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005, the House Democracy Partnership uses peer-to-peer exchange programs, training seminars for members and staff and targeted material assistance to build capacity in key areas such as legislative oversight, budget analysis, committee operations, constituent relations and library and research services.

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